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Women’s hoops puts NIU to bed early, rolls big in win

Using a 19-0 run to overcome an early deficit and another 19-0 run to pull away in the second half, the women’s basketball team rolled to an 80-44 win over visiting Northern Illinois.

After struggling to find their shot in the first half, hitting 37.9 percent from the field, BG caught fire in the second half. The Falcons shot 59 percent in the second half, including 9 of 14 on three’s, to deny any chance of a Huskies comeback.

Carin Horne drained five three-pointers, four in the second half, on her way to a game-high 18 points, while tying a career-high with six steals. Liz Honegger added 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Tene Lewis came off the bench to spark BG early. She had seven points and five assists in 14 first half minutes and finished nine and six.

“Tene came in there and really brought that (aggressive) energy and kept the tempo up,” Miller said. “Our bench overall was tremendous tonight. Ironically, we talked a lot about our bench in the pre-game speech before we left the locker room, and I felt like the bench was going to be a huge factor.”

The bench added 29 points as a whole, with 12 assists and 16 rebounds. Sakima Smith had a season-high nine points in 11 minutes.

The Falcons trailed 13-6 with 12:21 to play after Jennifer Uptmor sank two free throws for the Huskies. From then on, BG picked up on defense, utilizing a full-court press to force 14 NIU turnovers in the first half and lead 30-20 at the break.

“Our press took a life of its own,” Falcons head coach Curt Miller. “We started to have success (with it) more than any other time this year. We got more and more aggressive in the press and pressed more as it was successful.”

“Defense is the backbone of this team,” Lewis said. “We pride ourselves on working hard and playing defense. Once we get our defense going, then our offense comes to play.”

As their defensive play picked up, the Falcons shut down NIU’s leading scorer, Stephanie Raymond, who entered the contest averaging 15.7 points per game. She wound up scoring three points, with her only basket — a three — coming with 13:30 remaining in the game.

BG’s second 19-0 run was led by hot shooting from beyond the arc. Already leading 52-34 with 12:37 remaining, the Falcons hit five three’s, three from Honegger, to put the game away for good.

The Falcons play host to Ohio Saturday, with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m.

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